DUE WEST, S.C. – Sophomore forward Nigeria Davis (Newberry, S.C.) produced a monstrous game with 29 points and 16 rebounds Saturday afternoon against Erskine College, but it was not enough as the Valkyries dropped a heartbreaking 81-72 decision in overtime to the Flying Fleet.
Score: Erskine 81, Converse 72
Records: Erskine (5-11, 2-6 CC), Converse (6-9, 1-9 CC)
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE
- Freshman Ellen Nardella (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) reached double-digits during the game after pouring in 10 points
- Tee Ballard (Lancaster, S.C.) and Abigail Lewis (Savannah, Ga.) each added nine points apiece.
- Converse edged Erskine on the boards by a total of 49-48
- Both teams were able to knock down 28 field goals, but the Fleet doubled-up Converse at the charity stripe, connecting on 24-of-33 while the Vals went 12-21.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Megan Whitt got the scoring underway with a layup just 29 seconds in before Alexis McMillian (Bishopville, S.C.) put the Valkyries on the board with a basket of her own three minutes into the contest.
However, Erskine used a 13-4 run over the next three and half minutes of game action to race ahead 15-6 with 3:27 remaining in the opening period. Converse did not let the game get out of hand as it finished the quarter strong, reeling off 9-of-13 to trail 19-15 going to the second.
That momentum carried over in to the next session as the Vals gained its first lead (26-24) following back-to-back threes by Dominique Hill (Elgin, S.C.) and Nardella. That advantage grew to as many as seven points (31-24) with under four minutes to play in the opening half.
This time it was Erskine that made the run to end the quarter, outscoring Converse 9-2 to send the game into the intermission knotted at 33-all.
Coming out of the half the game became a nip-and-tuck affair as the lead was traded 10 times in the initial five minutes of the second half. Ballard connected on a tough layup to give the Purple and Gold a small lead of 50-46, but six consecutive points by the Fleet gave Erskine a two-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter mirrored the third as neither team could gain a definitive advantage over the other. With the score at 58-55 in favor of the Fleet, Nardella knocked down a clutch three to tie the contest for the 14th time in the game. Davis followed that up with a jumper while Ashley Sides (Gaffney, S.C.) added a pair of free throws to give the Vals a 62-58 lead with 2:37 left in regulation.
However, the Fleet ended the session with a pivotal 7-3 burst to tie the game and send it into overtime.
The Vals put themselves in the driver's seat to start the five-minute overtime period. Davis and Lewis combined for five straight points to give CC a 72-67 lead two minutes in. Unfortunately, that would be the last points Converse would score as Erskine reeled off a 14-0 run to secure the conference win.
After Converse scored seven of the first nine points in overtime, Erskine tallied the final 14 to steal the Conference Carolinas win away from the Valkyries.
Converse will return to the hardwood on Monday, January 21, playing host to Barton College inside Hannah Gymnasium. Tip-off for that contest is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The Valkyries acro and tumbling team will perform an exhibition at halftime of that contest.